Weight Training for Women

I hear it all of the time in one form or another, I don't want to lift weights because I don't want big muscles or I just do aerobics and sit-ups because I don't want to look like a man. Learn the truth about these myths!


Common Female Weight Training Myths

By: Christine Hardy

The pervasive myth causing women to forever swear off weight training is the belief that lifting weights causes bulging muscles. The reality? Women simply do not have enough of the hormones that allow for increased muscle mass. In fact, women have ten to thirty times less of those essential hormones than their male counterparts. Unlike most men, women who seek to gain muscle mass certainly do not have an easy time accomplishing this goal. It takes serious dedication, a scientifically engineered diet, a technically precise weight training schedule, rigorous dietary supplementation, and for some, chemical enhancement.

The truth is that muscle mass does not suddenly appear because you dare to lift weights. However, women that simply accept this myth without scrutiny, miss out on all of the benefits that strength training offers.

Women who incorporate moderate strength training into their workout regime increase their muscle tissue. Yes, this means that when you step onto the scale, you will note an increase in your overall "weight." But don't stop reading! The bottom line is that muscle tissue weights more than fat. Thus, as you increase your muscle tissue, your "weight" will necessarily increase. Muscle by its very nature is "thermogenic." This means that it burns fat. So, you may increase your "weight" as you gain muscle tissue, but do not become disheartened. Understand what this means and put it in perspective. The increase in relative weight, equates to an increase in muscle tissue not fat. And, an increase in muscle tissue translates into an increase in your resting metabolism. The simple truth is that muscle burns calories.

The denser your muscle tissue, the more calories you will burn even at a complete stand still. Those with dense muscles burn more calories by just engaging in their regular daily activities. In fact, research shows that for each pound of muscle earned, you will expend 35 to 50 more calories per day. So, if you gain three pounds of muscle, you will burn 40 more calories per pound, which equates to 120 additional calories per day, which translates into 3,600 additional calories per month and ultimately results in a weight loss of 10 to 12 pounds in a single year.

Another reason that women should engage in strength training is its effect on the bones. Indeed, weight training is a powerful weapon against osteoporosis, a disease characterized by porous bone and low bone mass. Those plagued with osteoporosis have an increased susceptibility to fractures of the wrists, hips, and spine. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 28 million Americans suffer from this disease, 80 percent of which are women! In fact, statistics show that one in two women over the age of 50 will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture during their lifetime. So, women, especially, should seriously consider weight training as a type of insurance against becoming represented in these startling national statistics.

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